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Andy's Story

Every year 700 New Zealanders are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and over 630 families lose a loved one to this striking disease.

This Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month we want to Shine a Light on just a few of the stories told by those fighting their personal pancreatic cancer battle, and those who have lost someone dear to them.

Watch Andy talk about hearing his mum had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

I emigrated from the UK nearly 14 years ago and used to run regularly. In January 2012, I went back to the UK to visit my Mum who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 4 months later she passed away. Not sure why, but I stopped running and couldn’t find the motivation.

Five years later, I had to go back to the UK again, this time my Dad had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 4 months later he passed away.

Then in 2018, my eldest brother was also diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I flew back to the UK to visit as surgeons thought they had caught it in time for surgery to remove the tumour. Unfortunately, it was not to be and 4 months later he passed away.

A year later, and a friend motivated me to get running again. I only did 8ks but really enjoyed it. Then I started increasing my distances and noticed my fitness level increasing. In January on a 20k run, I thought to myself why don’t I train and compete in a marathon? Looked online and decided the Auckland Marathon in November would give me loads of time to train. Also thought it would be great to run for charity, and as soon as I saw the Gut Cancer Foundation had a team, I joined straight away. Hopefully I can get fit and help others, raising awareness and money for a really good cause.”

Pancreatic Cancer Aotearoa/ New Zealand - Facebook Support Group

If you have been affected by pancreatic visit: for an online community to support patients, friends, and family affected by pancreatic cancer